Most of the mobile and web solutions we have created as app developers in Kenya are for business. Mobile apps offer a convenient way for business owners to expand their reach and improve communication.
In addition, websites and apps are effective marketing tools to promote a company’s products or services. However, the nature of the workplace has changed after the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses that created mobile apps and websites before the pandemic are enjoying continued interactions with their customers.
The challenge now is for businesses to prepare and adapt to the reality of remote working. Is it temporal or the future?
Remote Working Trends
The world was already shifting to remote working before the health crisis. Further statistics show that nearly half of the US working population has worked remotely at some point.
Remote working presents an opportunity for businesses to hire the best talents and save costs at the same time. Some experts prefer to work remotely.
In some cases, remote working is the only possible way to engage an expert. It breaks the location barrier and enables companies to hire the best talents irrespective of their geographical location.
Remote working at the same time offers employees opportunities to work with the best employers from around the world.
A recent survey revealed that 78% of the participating firms were using flexible work schedules and telecommuting as a way of increasing employee retention.
The same survey showed that 82% of the companies in the US use remote working opportunities to help employees achieve the life-work balance.
Business owners have been recognising the advantages of allowing their employees to work from home over time.
The expectation is that the same trend will continue even after the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Employees’ preferences to work from home
The older generation of employees that is leaving the workplace associates work with an office environment. Employees who are about to retire adhere the 9 to 5 work schedule.
The new generation of employees, on the other hand, is looking for flexible jobs. About 83% of job applicants use the ability to work remotely as a decisive factor when choosing between two job offers.
Losing job flexibility will make at least two-thirds of employees to start considering other opportunities. Business owners cannot ignore this preference going forward.
A different survey indicated that 54% of employees working in an office are willing to leave their job if they find another with more flexibility.
The shift in preferences explains the move by employers to use job flexibility to attract and retain the best talents.
Any business that ignores this preference is likely to struggle with hiring process in the future.
The surveys were taken way before the world started dealing with Covid-19. The pandemic has given most of the office workers an opportunity to explore remote working.
The most likely outcome is that the office workers will prefer to continue working from home after the pandemic. Switching jobs may be impossible in the short-term but in the long-term, office workers will look for flexible jobs.
From the sampled statistics in the previous section, it is clear that employees prefer flexibility. Remote working is not necessarily become a trend because of technology
App developers in Kenya and other technical experts respond to the demand for remote working tools.
Developers are seeing the need to improve the effectiveness of remote workers through tools. Technology is an enabling factor to remote working.
Tools such as Slack, Google Drive, and Zoom have made it easy for remote workers to collaborate. New tools are expected in the market as remote working intensifies in the future.
Other technical advances that are promoting remote work include artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning. Such changes are eliminating the need to have tens and even hundreds of employees in an office.
Employees are always concerned when new technology threatens their job security. Such concerns lead to a search for remote work, which allows employees to engage more than one employer at the same time.
Knowledge versus tools
Whenever remote working is mentioned, the next big question in the mind of employers is the right tools to acquire. The assumption is that acquiring the tools solves the equation for both employees and employers.
For app developers in Kenya, the question is about developing the tools internally or for other businesses.
Remote working tools are enablers and not necessarily the most critical element of remote working. Employees need knowledge of how to work from home effectively.
Sometimes working remotely means engaging employers in different countries or states. This means that a remote worker has no way of determining if such a company has a physical address or not.
In case of disputes or conflicts, employees feel helpless and insecure. Employers must build confidence, trust, and security in remote workers.
Transparency and honesty are a priority to remote workers, especially when signing contracts with new employers. Transitioning from the office to remote working with the same employer is easy.
Employees need the confidence that the employer is stable enough to pay their salaries and benefits on time. In case of a crisis such as the on-going Covid-19 crisis, employees need an assurance of job security.
When employers build confidence in their employees through information, remote working tools now bridge the gaps.
Integrating the right tools becomes the link to effectiveness and optimal performance for remote workers. Information and training must come first before the tools for remote working to yield the best results.
Remote working is certainly going to be a huge part of the future workplace. Many employers have shunned the trend for a long time because of IT requirements. Creating an enabling environment requires that business owners engage IT experts including app developers in Kenya. In the past, flexible working hours was a choice. However, the future points to a situation when companies will have to offer job flexibility to hire the best talents in the job market.